Articles Tagged ‘hgv - Brake the road safety charity’

Brake comments on 'self driving' lorry tests

News from Brake
Friday 25 August, 2017

The Government has today announced plans to test small convoys of partially driverless lorries by the end of 2018. Commenting on the news, Jason Wakeford, Director of Campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: "Rather than platooning lorries on already congested UK roads, the Government should instead cut emissions and improve public safety by moving more freight from road to rail. Each freight train takes around 60 HGVs off the road network.

"This rigorous trial is needed to prove whether this technology really can provide the safety and environmental benefits which are claimed."

[Ends]
 
Notes to editors:
 
Statistics on rail freight: source Network Rail (https://www.networkrail.co.uk/industry-commercial-partners/rail-freight/)

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.

We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Brake condemns government decision to increase speed limit for lorries on single carriageways

Thursday 24 July 2014

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk 

Brake, the road safety charity, has expressed serious concerns about plans announced today by the Department of Transport to raise the speed limit for lorries on single carriageway roads to 50mph.

The announcement comes as a survey by Brake and Digby Brown solicitors reveals the extent of risky driving on country roads.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive for Brake, the road safety charity, said: "We are disappointed and concerned by this announcement. Put simply, when vehicles travel faster, it takes them longer to stop, increasing risk. It is very well evidenced that increases in speed equal increases in crashes and casualties. At the same time, the road safety justification for this move is dubious: we are not aware of evidence it will help tackle risky overtaking, which should be addressed through other means. Pronounced speed differences between traffic can pose a risk, but the way to address this is by preventing car drivers going too fast, not speeding trucks up. The minister says she wants to get the country moving, but we ask at what cost to road users and the environment?

"Our own survey has just revealed the worrying extent of dangerous fast driving on country roads. We should be taking steps to address this, through driver education, lower speed limits and better enforcement. We are concerned for rural communities already blighted by fast traffic and for those who want to safely enjoy the countryside on foot, bike or horseback. This threatens to make these problems worse."

Brake campaigns for lower speed limits – 50mph maximum and 40, 30, and 20mph where there are particular risks – to save lives on country roads through its Rural roads not racetracks campaign. Tweet us: @Brakecharity, #RuralRoadsnotRacetracks.

Brake
Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Charity calls on employers: take advantage of technology to protect pedestrians and cyclists

Thursday 28 May 2015

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk 

A report released today (28 May 2015) by Brake, the road safety charity, and Licence Bureau, has found many employers with vehicle fleets are not taking advantage of new technologies to protect vulnerable road users. Despite the potential to help drivers see pedestrians and cyclists and reduce casualties, only one in five HGV operators surveyed (20%) have rear-facing cameras on all vehicles, one in 12 (8%) have side-facing cameras on all vehicles, and one in eight (12%) have side sensors on all vehicles.

Brake is appealing to employers to follow best practice advice and implement the latest safety technology suitable for their vehicles, to protect other road users and deliver the business benefits of reduced crashes, bumps and scrapes and lower insurance premiums.

The report found HGV safety technologies that are mandatory under European law, such as underrun protection and wide-angle lenses, are present on almost all vehicles. Hence Brake is calling for more comprehensive regulation to ensure the widespread take up of technologies such as automatically moving mirrors, side-view cameras and side sensors, which can be of benefit in preventing needless death and injuries yet are currently only present on a minority of vehicle fleets.

With at least a quarter (24%) of road deaths and serious injuries involving a vehicle being driven for work [1], there is a clear need for employers to do more to improve the safety of their vehicles. HGVs specifically make up only 5% of vehicles on UK roads, yet are involved in a quarter (23%) of cyclist deaths and one in seven (13%) of pedestrian deaths. In 2013, 78 people on foot or bike were killed by HGVs.

The report also indicates that while safety management technologies such as telematics are becoming widespread, there is scope for employers with fleets of all vehicle types to make far greater use of them. Half of operators surveyed (49%) do not use telematics at all, and many of those who do report not making full use of their systems. Brake is highlighting that while there is an initial cost for such measures, effective safety technology like telematics pays for itself through reduced incidents and insurance premiums: many report recouping costs within a year and seeing long-term gains.

The report also highlighted the negative impact of certain forms of technology, particularly the worrying prevalence of hands-free mobile phone kits in employer vehicles. Hands-free kits were present in some, most or all vehicles in two thirds (68%) of HGV fleets and four in five (80%) cars fleets surveyed. Only 4% of employers make use of apps that prevent mobile phone use behind the wheel. Brake warns that using a mobile at the wheel, even with a hands-free kit, has a similar effect on reactions to drink driving [3], and makes you four times more likely to be in a crash that causes injury [4].

Employers can access Brake’s expert guidance by ordering a copy of the report, which includes advice for companies, and becoming a member of Brake Professional at http://www.brakepro.org/survey2015pt1

Dr Tom Fisher, senior research and communications officer at Brake, said: “Employers whose staff drive for work have a duty of care both to their own employees and other road users. While not a panacea, technology can play a big part in helping them improve safety and exercise that duty, so it is disappointing to see that so many are not taking full advantage of new safety technologies on offer. Blind spot devices and safety management kit like telematics have huge potential to reduce crashes and casualties, and bring down associated costs for the operator. Brake urges all fleet operators to go beyond the bare legal minimum to ensure their vehicles and drivers are as safe as possible, especially in safeguarding our most vulnerable road users. We can offer support and advice, through our Brake Professionals scheme, on how best to do this. Brake is also urging government to put in place more comprehensive minimum safety standards, as it is clear this is the most effective way to ensure the widespread adoption of vital safety technologies.”

Les Owen, compliance consultant at Licence Bureau, said: “The Brake survey provides fleet operators with lots of good data and advice. Surely it is obvious that the cost of a crash (average in the UK is over £800 for all vehicles) makes it sensible to consider fitting some of the safety technology items. The key features for fleets must be to avoid drivers using mobile phones; telematics to provide fleet managers with data they can sample (rather than look at every one) to offer driving advice where needed; and safety standard mirrors with items for HGVs to reduce risks to vulnerable road users. One serious crash or fatal collision can lead to a lifetime of problems for drivers and managers alike so doing more to avoid them is a no-brainer. Finally, implementing good policies, which are reviewed with drivers to provide learning opportunities and reminders of company objectives, is good practice. Writing a policy and not doing anything with it is just as bad as not having one.”

Brake’s advice for employers

Technology alone is not a panacea for road safety; safe driver behaviour and risk management policies and procedures are essential within fleets. Yet technology can form a vital part of the road risk management mix, and greatly aid safe driving, vehicles and journeys.

Fleet operators should be aware of and comply with laws to help protect vulnerable road users. Under EU law, trucks weighing more than 3.5 tonnes are legally required to have some safety devices fitted, including extra mirrors and under-run guards. Similar requirements exist in many other jurisdictions worldwide.

Where safety devices are not legally required, fleet managers should still consider fitting them to ensure their vehicles are as safe as possible.

Wide-angle and blind spot mirrors, CCTV, rear, front and side sensors, automatic side mirrors, and reversing alarms are available for various types of vehicle. Fleet operators should implement devices suitable to their vehicle types.

When selecting vehicles to lease or buy, or advising employees who use their own vehicles for work, fleet managers should select vehicles with smaller blind spots or blind spot-minimising technology fitted, and features designed to minimise the harm to vulnerable road users in a collision.

Fleet managers should keep up-to-date with the latest technology in this fast-moving area, and implement new technologies where available and appropriate. Information on the latest research and developments is available through Brake’s fortnightly Target Zero email newsletter tosubscribers, and in Brake’sresearch library.

Brake’s survey report gives further guidance and information on technology. Employers can order the report at http://www.brakepro.org/survey2015pt1.

Brake advises and supports companies to manage their road risk through itsBrake Professionals scheme. The survey report is available for free tomembers, or can be purchased for £5 by non-members. Special offer: the first 25 non-members to request the report through ouronline form get a copy for FREE.

About the report

The survey results come from Brake and Licence Bureau’s Fleet Safety Survey Report Part One: Technology, released today (Thursday 28 May 2015). 131 organisations that employ drivers completed the online survey, representing nearly 26,000 vehicles and 40,000 people driving for work.

Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity education,services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Follow Brake on Twitter or Facebook. Follow Julie Townsend on Twitter.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

End notes

[1] Reported road casualties Great Britain 2013, Department for Transport, 2014

[2] Ibid

[3]Using a hands-free mobile whilst driving can be more dangerous than drink driving, Transport Research Laboratory, 2009

[4]Role of mobile phones in motor vehicle crashes resulting in hospital attendance: a case-crossover study, University of Western Australia, 2005

Charity raises alarm bells as higher lorry speed limits come into effect

Monday 6 April 2015

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk 

Brake, the road safety charity, has reiterated its concern as higher speed limits for large lorriescome into effect today (6 April 2015). As announced by the government last year, speed limits in England and Wales for HGVs over 7.5 tonnes will rise from 40mph to 50mph onsingle carriageways and from 50mph to 60mph ondual carriageways.

SeeBrake’s response to the government consultation on raising the dual carriageway HGV speed limit.

Gary Rae, campaigns manager for Brake, the road safety charity, said:“We are disappointed that the government has gone against the advice of road safety groups on this issue. The decision to increase HGV speed limits is short-sighted and runs against work to more effectively manage traffic speeds and reduce casualties on our roads. The relationship between speed and casualties is a proven one, so allowing the largest vehicles on our roads to reach higher speeds more often risks more deaths, serious injuries, and additional cost to the taxpayer.

“The government itself has admitted that this move will likely have no economic or road safety benefit. It is a move designed to legitimise the dangerous behaviour of those who already break the speed limit while putting the safety of the law-abiding majority second. It sets a dangerous precedent that if traffic laws are persistently flouted; the government would rather change them than enforce them.”

Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Follow Brake on Twitter or Facebook.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Charity warns of danger posed by increase in lorry speed limit

Monday 17 November 2014

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk 

Brake, the road safety charity, has expressed disappointment at government plans to raise the speed limit for large lorries on dual carriageway roads to 60mph, despite serious concerns from a number of road safety groups. The move comes on the back of the government’s decision to increase the speed limit for HGVs on single carriageway roads earlier this year.

SeeBrake’s response to the government consultation on raising the dual carriageway HGV speed limit.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive for Brake, the road safety charity, said:“This decision runs against work to more effectively manage traffic speeds and reduce casualties and emissions on our roads. As with the decision to raise the HGV speed limit on single carriageways, the government is making a leap of faith in spite of the legitimate concerns of road safety groups. The government itself admits that, at best, there will be no economic or road safety benefit. At worst, it risks increasing deaths and serious injuries on our roads if the largest vehicles are allowed to reach higher speeds more often. The relationship between increased speed and increased casualties is a proven one, so why take the risk?

“Increasing the HGV speed limit on single and dual carriageways sets a dangerous precedent, sending a message that if traffic laws are persistently flouted, the government would rather change them than get tough with the law-breaking drivers putting everyone at risk.”

Brake
Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Charity warns of gridlock Britain

10 February 2017 
news@brake.org.uk

New provisional figures from the Department for Transport show that motor vehicle traffic has reached a record high.

In the year ending December 2016 car traffic increased by 0.7 per cent  to a record high of 249.5 billion vehicle miles and HGV traffic grew by 2.8 per cent overall to 17.1 billion vehicle miles.

The report suggests that this rise is partly due to the growth in the economy as well as lower fuel prices.

The figures should “give cause for alarm”, says Gary Rae, Brake’s campaigns director.

He said: “These rises are not sustainable. Provisional estimates suggest that both ‘A’ roads and motorways experienced the highest level of vehicle traffic recorded; motorway traffic increased by 2.1% to 67.9 billion vehicle miles in 2016, continuing a long-term trend of increasing motorway traffic over the past six years.

“The figures are heading the wrong way and we’re heading for gridlock. The government needs to get a grip and outline what it intends to do. Back in 2015, during Road Safety Week, we highlighted the lethal consequences of too many vehicles on our roads. The situation is becoming markedly worse”.

[ENDS]

Notes to Editors

  • Provisionally, 320.5 billion vehicle miles were travelled on Great Britain’s roads in the year ending December 2016, a figure 1.2% higher than 2015 and 2% higher than the pre-recession peak in the year ending September 2007.
  • Rolling annual motor vehicle traffic has now increased each quarter in succession for over three years.
  • The greatest increases were the number of LGV miles (3.4%) and HGV miles (2.8%) on our roads.
  • Car traffic increased by 0.6% to a record 249.5 billion vehicle miles.
  • Provisional estimates suggest that both A roads and motorways experienced the highest level of vehicle traffic recorded.
  • Provisionally, motorway traffic increased by 2.1% to 67.9 billion vehicle miles in 2016, continuing a long-term trend of increasing motorway traffic over the past six years.
  • Estimates suggest that A road traffic showed an increase of 2.0%, mainly on rural ‘A’ roads (increase of 2.5% to 93.6 billion vehicle miles), while traffic on urban ‘A’ roads increased by a smaller degree (up 1.1% to 50.2 billion vehicle miles).

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and has domestic operations in the UK and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Dr Brian Iddon, MP for Bolton South East, October 2009

october09Brian has been campaigning fiercely for the early introduction of mandatory retro-reflective markings on HGV’s since early 2006 [1]. In October alone, Brian asked four questions and tabled an Early Day Motion on this single issue. He is furious, because in September the Government went back on a promise to introduce the requirement in 2010. Instead of giving up in the face of adversity, Brian has reacted by stepping up his campaign and pushing the Government even harder.

Research undertaken for the Department for Transport (DfT) in 2005 showed that mandatory markings would save at least 15 lives every year [2].

A directive from the European Union will come into force in 2011, making it mandatory for HGV’s to have retro-reflective markings. In September, The DfT announced that it would further delay introduction until the EU deadline of 2011, going back on their most recent commitment to bring in the mandatory requirement from July 2010. At an earlier stage, the Government expected it to be implemented by 2009.

Brian has spearheaded a campaign to have the measure introduced as a matter of urgency. Brian has tirelessly kept up pressure on the DfT by writing letters to its ministers, and meeting with them to explain his concerns about repeatedly delaying its introduction. He tabled two Early Day Motions in 2009 alone [3]. In response to the Government’s announcement in September, Brian has asked three written [4] and one oral [5] question relating to this issue in an attempt to highlight the error of the delay and to uncover the reasoning behind it.

The DfT has said implementation has been delayed because of the financial burden it would place on the industry. However, they have not revealed who they have consulted to ascertain that the industry agrees. The Freight Transport Association has stated that this measure would have a “minimal impact” [6] on the industry, which, in any case, they would have to comply with from 2011. Brian made a point of highlighting this to the Government in the hope that they would re-examine their decision.

Brian isn’t going to stop now. He hopes to challenge the Government’s u-turn and persuade them to agree to an earlier introduction. By the EU deadline for introduction in 2011, it is likely that another 30 lives will be lost because HGV’s aren’t equipped with retro-reflective markings.

Brian said,

“I am delighted to receive this award from Brake. On the very day that I had raised this as an issue in the Road safety Bill’s Standing Committee I saw a sports car under a HGV on the slip road leading to Stafford service station on the M6 when I was travelling home late at night. It convinced me that I had to carry on with this campaign.”

Brian is going to ask for a meeting with the Minister for Transport to call his attention to the issue and request that the date to be brought forward again. He has been working with REFLECT, a single issue group set up to lobby Parliament, and they expect to call a parliamentary meeting in December.

Brake believes that the Government’s delay in implementing the law is completely unjustifiable and shows a shocking lack of urgency in implementing a straight forward measure that would save lives. The DfT should immediately withdraw their decision from September to show that they have due concern for the devastation caused to families by road deaths involving poorly visible HGV’s. Brake congratulates Brian for his persistence and offers him full support in his campaign.

[1] http://www.brianiddon.org.uk/media/060403_road_safety.htm
[2] Assessment of the safety benefit of retro reflective markings on HGVs and buses, Lawton C, Richardson J and Welsh R, The University of Loughborough, May 2005.
[3] Early Day Motions are a form of parliamentary petition that MP’s can use to lobby the Government and gather support on an issue. Click to view Brian’s two Early Day Motions EDM 37599 EDM 39244.
[4] Written questions are submitted by MP’s to the appropriate department to research and answer. Click to view each of Brian’s October questions. Parliamentary question 293686 Parliamentary question 293685 Parliamentary question 293683.
[5] Oral questions are questions that the MP asks directly to the Minister in the chamber. Click to view Brian’s oral question Oral question 294796.
[6] Commercial Motor Magazine, September 2009

Paul Goggins, Labour MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, April 2011

Paul Goggins, Labour MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, has been awarded 'Parliamentarian of the Month' by Brake, the road safety charity, and Direct Line for his efforts to raise the issue of regulation for heavy goods vehicle wheel safety in parliament.

In June 2010, Paul was approached by Motor Wheel Service, a wheel supply company within his constituency, who were concerned about the lack of regulation to ensure the safety of second hand heavy goods vehicle wheels.

They believe that there has been a rise of approximately 10,000 substandard second hand HGV wheels entering the UK market per year. Paul is concerned that there are no guarantees that these second hand wheels are safe because while tyres are heavily regulated to ensure they meet minimum standards of safety, wheels are not.

As it stands a wheel could be damaged in a serious crash and be back on the road the very next day, fitted to a different vehicle without any inspection or accountability. A wheel that has been damaged through age, poor maintenance or in a collision could become detached. A wheel that comes loose at speed can hit an oncoming vehicle or pedestrian with incredible force. Click here to read Brake's fact sheet on wheel loss.

Paul wrote to Mike Penning, the road safety minister, to express his concerns and he agreed to investigate the issue further. Following this, in early November Paul secured a meeting with the Minister and took along representatives from the Motor Wheel Service. The Minister agreed to commission a review of the evidence.

Paul secured a House of Commons debate in March 2011, which he used to urge the Government to introduce more rigorous checks to identify unsafe second hand wheels. The debate had one positive outcome as Mike Penning agreed to appoint a senior official in the Department for Transport to act as a point of contact for the wheel supply industry so that they are able to directly forward any evidence of defective wheels or companies supplying them.

Paul plans to continue campaigning for more rigorous checks on HGV wheels and their suppliers.

This is not the first time Paul has raised the issue of road safety. A few years ago, when a member of Paul's constituency was tragically killed in a road crash, he campaigned for a garden of remembrance. He was successful in his campaigns and the council built a remembrance garden in the South Manchester cemetery.
 
Paul Goggins MP said: "I had always assumed that wheels and tyres were subject to similar checks but that is not the case. Whilst tyres are closely monitored wheels are not. With more and more imported HGV wheels coming into the UK and a growing market for second hand wheels it is time for the government to act. I welcome the Minister's decision to appoint a senior official to follow up specific concerns reported by individuals and companies within the wheel industry."

Julie Townsend, Brake's campaigns director, said: "We are delighted by the significant efforts Paul has made to improve the safety of trucks on our roads. Promoting fleet safety is an integral part of Brake's work and we would like to applaud Paul's endeavours to press the Government to act on this important issue."

Personal tragedies, predictable causes: case studies of cyclist deaths

cycle4life_10This page tells the stories of some deaths of cyclists on British roads and the causes of those deaths.

Case study: The Ryl Disaster

For 12 members of Rhyl Cycling Club, it should have been a leisurely Sunday ride along a favourite route. But when an oncoming car hit black ice, the day turned instantly to disaster - three men and a 14-year-old boy were killed in Britain’s worst ever bike crash. The car veered across the A547, crashing into them. Those who died were: 14 year old Thomas Harland; Maurice Broadbent, 61, the chairman of the club; Dave Horrocks, 55, who had caught the cycling bug after he and his wife were given bikes by their son; and Wayne Wilkes, 42, who was cycling with his own son. Bad driving and lack of road gritting contributed to Britain’s “worst cycling disaster,” said coroner John Hughes. “The evidence shows classic signs that Robert Harris, driving a Toyota Corolla, was driving without due care and attention and he admitted his responsibility in going too fast. I fail to understand why no proceedings were brought against him.” The Inquest’s jury ruled out accidental death and returned a narrative verdict. Hughes also pointed out a failure to grit roads after calls had been made alerting officials to the ice after another driver had skidded earlier. The cyclists had set out on a 60-mile trip between Great Orme and Llanrwst, in what they believed was fine weather, in pairs and wearing helmets. Harris was fined in separate criminal proceedings for having defective tyres.
Read the BBC report.

Case Study: Tired driver kills champion cyclist

Champion speed cyclist Zak Carr was killed in October 2005 by a motorist thought to have dozed off at the wheel who drove into the back of him. The crash happened on the A11 near Wymondham, Norfolk at 7.30am. Forty-nine year old driver, Donald Pearce, was travelling home from a holiday in Turkey, having missed a night’s sleep. He was sentenced to five years in prison.
Read the BBC report.

Case Study: Collisions with trucks

33 year old Ninian Donald was killed when the driver of a skip lorry, turning at a junction, failed to spot him. The driver was not prosecuted because he had legal mirrors. Ninian left behind his partner Kate Evenden and their 19 month old daughter Ava Rose. Kate is campaigning for wide-angled mirrors on trucks and training for large vehicle drivers about cyclists. She says: “Ava Rose asks for her father every day. I have pictures of him around and tell her all about him but our lives have been changed for ever.”
Read the Evening Standard report.

In February 2006, 32 year old Patricia McMillan was cycling to work in Kensington, London, listening to music on her iPod. She was hit by an articulated lorry and crushed to death. A spokesperson from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) said “If you are on a bike, you need to be aware of what is going on around you - and you can’t be if you’re listening to music.”
Read the Daily Mirror report.

Case Study: Speeding, texting car driver

Nineteen year old Jordan Wickington was killed by a speeding 25 year old who was texting her husband while driving at 45mph in a 30mph zone through a junction in Southampton. Jordan rode through a red light and was hit by the car. Kiera Coultas, found guilty of Death by Dangerous Driving, had already received three fixed penalty tickets for speeding in the same area.
Read the Daily Telegraph report.


Cycling for health >>

<< Cycle crashes: the statistics

<< To bike or not to bike? home page

<< Cycle4life home page

Safe Urban Driving Course - Travis Perkins & Fleetsource

Travis Perkins has approximately 1,650 drivers working across Greater London – an area densely populated with cyclists, pedestrians and heavy goods vehicles (HGV’s).With that in mind I travelled to Barking to participate in the safe urban driving course at the new Fleet Source building in Fresh Wharf Estate.

The safe urban driving course is accredited by both Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) and Transport for London (TfL) and has been heavily invested in by Travis Perkins – to date they have provided £750,000 pounds to run it.

I arrived in East London as both a charity partner and Brake representative, but also a participant, alongside a selection of Travis Perkins drivers throughout the day. I would be experiencing the same educational course that all Travis Perkins drivers have to go through and my mind was open to what I could take away from the event myself.

Both classroom and bicycle based, this course aims to give drivers a different perspective of the road, particularly focusing on vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. The aim of the course is very apparent; to create a safer generation of lorry drivers who are more conscious of the other, less visible road users, in cities where cycling is becoming the favoured method of transport and cyclists are ever increasing in numbers.

It was very educational to be able to sit in the lorry cab and have a driver talk me through all of the safety features that have been installed within the vehicle including extra blind spot mirrors, turning signals and larger windows covering the passenger door for increased visibility. Whilst on the bikes it was equally informative in terms of addressing situations of potential driver/cyclist conflict including junctions, traffic lights and advanced stop lines and also recognising best driving practice around cyclists.

The fundamental thing I took from this event was the importance of understanding both sides of the coin.  On a personal note, I really never knew about the lack of visibility that lorry drivers had of vulnerable road users nor the safety features in place to protect vulnerable road users. As a cyclist it’s easy to think that a driver can see you all the time in their mirrors when in reality that’s not the case.

On the flip side, it is vitally important for lorry drivers to complete this course. By doing so they learn the perspective of a vulnerable road user and it helps them understand the situation of all people who use our roads.